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Posts made in December, 2017


Open Enrollment for health insurance began on November 7, and will end on January 31, 2018. So, you still have plenty of time to make changes to your current healthcare plan (or finally enroll in one), but with the holidays looming we’re all getting busy. You might be wondering what will happen if you procrastinate or forget to take action during Open Enrollment. If you currently have a health insurance plan… You will be automatically re-enrolled in that same plan, if you don’t make a decision otherwise. That could be convenient, but since your premiums will likely change, you would be wise to comparison shop before the deadline. If you currently receive a subsidy to aid with the cost of your premiums, you need to update your income information so that your subsidy can be calculated correctly. If you don’t have health insurance at all… For now, the Individual Mandate part of the Affordable Care Act does stand. If you fail to carry health insurance, you might face a penalty on your 2018 tax return, in the amount of 695 dollars per uncovered adult or 2.5 percent of household income (whichever is higher). Yes, some of the tax plans set currently set forth in Congress seek to do away with that penalty, but those bills have not passed at this time. If you change your mind… Let’s say, for some reason, that you choose not to enroll in health insurance at this time. If you change your mind after January 31, you can’t enroll in a policy until Open Enrollment next November (and the plan wouldn’t take effect until January 1, 2019). There are some exceptions to this rule, called Qualifying Life Events. If your household adds a member (a new child), if you get married or divorced, or if your income changes, you might be eligible to enroll in health insurance outside of the Open Enrollment period. There are a few other, less common, qualifying life events as well. You can always contact us throughout the year to inquire about your situation, but there are no guarantees. If you want health insurance in 2018, your best bet is to sign up now. PLEASE NOTE: If you are a Medicare recipient, your Annual Enrollment Period has already ended and if you feel that you need to make changes, contact us directly for assistance. We’ll do our best to help...

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The ACA Employer Mandate Takes Effect

The ACA Employer Mandate Takes Effect


Posted By on Dec 4, 2017

If you’ve been watching the news this year, you know that healthcare has remained a hot topic in Washington, DC. Congress and President Trump batted around several ideas that would repeal or vastly roll back provisions within the Affordable Care Act, but finally called it quits when a consensus could not be reached. For now, lawmakers have abandoned the idea of a total repeal and/or replacement of the healthcare law. That means many of the provisions included within the ACA, which were delayed and gradually implemented, will continue to take effect throughout the country. One of those provisions is the employer mandate, which requires many small and midsize businesses to provide their employees with a qualifying health insurance plan. The rule has been in place already, of course, but the IRS needed time to build its compliance systems. Therefore, the requirement wasn’t exactly enforced until those systems were complete…. But now, the IRS has announced that they are beginning to notify employers who failed to comply with the law in 2015. Under the employer mandate, businesses which employ more than 50 full-time workers must provide them a group health insurance plan which meets requirements set forth under the ACA. Those who failed to comply will face steep tax penalties. Since the first batch of letters addresses businesses that failed to comply with the law in 2015, we can assume the IRS will continue to catch up with those who failed to comply in 2016, and so on. Congress continues to debate various other tax issues, as both the House and Senate are putting together bills to revise the income tax structure. But so far, the employer mandate has not been mentioned within those bills (the Senate bill effectively reverses the individual mandate, by doing away with tax penalties for individuals who do not enroll in health insurance, but this will not affect employers). So for now, the employer mandate stands, and it will be enforced. If your business is growing and you are approaching the 50-worker threshold, it is time to evaluate your group health insurance options. Give us a call, and we will help you identify your options and select a plan that is right for your...

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